Owner Stories | Choosing the Right Wilderness Motorhome then Hitting the Road

Owner Stories | Choosing the Right Wilderness Motorhome then Hitting the Road

Thinking about buying a motorhome and travelling to parts of New Zealand you always dreamed about? Hear from Bürstner and HYMER owners that have been there and are doing just that.

We talk with seven couples, partners and singles that have made the leap to a motorhome lifestyle. Find out why they bought their chosen models and where they absolutely love to travel.



Table of Contents



Time to jump in- wheels and all

The realisation of Jane Butler’s motorhome dream wasn’t all that long in the making. It was more about grabbing an opportunity when it presented itself — and rolling with it.

Ixeo camping



Why Jane chose a Bürstner Ixeo Time 590

“I visited new and secondhand yards whenever they presented themselves — and learned a lot as a result. I made a list of the features I liked and those that I didn’t,” explains Jane.

Armed with a list of questions and requirements, Jane headed to the Covi Supershow in Auckland. Her motorhome criteria included:

  • Less than six metres long
  • No bed in sight.

The Bürstner Ixeo Time 590 met all of her requirements.

“The service at Wilderness was exceptional. The teams were friendly, courteous and knowledgeable — and are wonderful hosts. I felt spoilt,” expresses Jane. “Impressively, their standards are completely consistent across the business in Auckland and Christchurch — and their communication is seamless.”

“I was flown up to collect my new motorhome and given a very thorough handover briefing of the van, inside and out.”


Where Jane loves taking her Bürstner

Connecting with old friends and revisiting past haunts is part of the magic of having a Bürstner motorhome.

Jane enjoys the solitude and intimacy of places little known or discovered. “Surprise delights came aplenty with some standouts — Spirits Bay, Houhora, Matai and Merita Bays, and Whangarei Heads.”


View from moho

“Showering under the stars as it rained at Uretiti was an unexpected pleasure. The sentimental journeys around the Coromandel Peninsula where I revisited gorgeous hideouts and had them pretty much to myself was truly special,” says Jane.


💡Jane’s Tip

Invest in reliable onboard WiFi to stay reliably connected while motorhoming solo — recommended by the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA).



Panoramic views of New Zealand

After 13 years of motorhome ownership, Wayne and Cath Zaloum decided to upgrade to a motorhome with a fixed island bed and a large comfortable living area. The model that fit their needs best was the Bürstner Grand Panorama.


Bürstner Grand Panorama i920



Why Wayne and Cath chose a Bürstner Grand Panorama i920

Extensive research resulted in a decision that Wayne says they would make all over again.

“The Grand Panorama was great value for money. It’s well-appointed with really nice trimmings and upholstery — and the big windscreen is truly amazing. Like all
Burstner motorhomes, it’s classy and really comfortable,” explains Wayne.

“It’s a fantastic motorhome. It drives unbelievably. It drives like a car! The heating system is brilliant and we can fit everything in the garage — the Vespa, the BBQ, the beach chairs, the push bikes.”


Bürstner Grand Panorama i920 garage

Wayne also loves the clever technology in their Grand Panorama. “It has a great shower and a really good
compact kitchen with lots of features. The seating area is fantastic — and it’s got plenty of water."

With nine metres of classy comfort, the i920 handles even the most rugged New Zealand roads like a car.



Where Wayne and Cath love taking their Grand Panorama


Grand Panorama beach

The Zaloums have made some intrepid journeys in their Grand Panorama.

“We did the East Coast in April — beautiful!
Lottin Point in Gisborne was the highlight of the trip. At the end of the sealed road was a lodge, and past the cattlestop just a single-lane shingle road with a very steep gradient and just enough space for three or four motorhomes. It’s surrounded by hills and there’s a nice sheltered bay.”

“It’s a really relaxing lifestyle. It’s our way of chilling,” says Cath.


Perfect for a pair

Jim Tuhakaraina and Janice Donnelly had spent some time looking for the ideal motorhome that would suit their needs. A refurbished Bürstner Brevio T600 hit just the right spot.


Why Jim and Janice chose a Bürstner Brevio T600

The style and setup were exactly what they were searching for. “It’s got a good layout, looks nice and is really comfortable. It suits us,” Jim says.

“One of my favourite features are the swivel seats. They’re a really good idea and give you plenty of room.” He does have one suggestion though. “They’re comfortable seats but a sheepskin would top it off nicely,” he laughs.



Where Jim and Janice love taking their Brevio

The couple have been out exploring the coast and local bike trails.

“We’ve been doing shorter trips, mostly weekends,” Jim explains. “We usually stay in holiday parks with all the extra comforts but we use Department of Conservation (DOC) campgrounds too.”

The Brevio has tackled the Nelson area’s hills and roads with ease. “The handling is excellent — like a car. It’s quiet and easy on fuel.”


💡Jim and Janice’s Tip

The Bürstner Owners Club is a handy resource. “You can see what other owners are up to and the Facebook page got me sorted out when I couldn’t find one of the buttons,” mentions Jim.



Betting on the best

Raewyn and Peter Burn Bürstner Nexxo T690G Camping

Like many others looking into buying their first motorhome, Raewyn and Peter Burn didn’t take their decision lightly. They spent a good year or so researching both online and attending all the motorhome shows.


Why Raewyn and Peter chose a Bürstner Nexxo T690G

Not long into their endeavour to find the perfect fit, Raewyn and Peter quickly realised they kept coming back to one brand (Bürstner) and one extremely helpful sales team — the Wilderness team.

“We were initially attracted by the high-end finish, the sleek style and the spacious layout,” says Raewyn. “The level of Bürstner quality and the responsive service of the team was something that we just couldn’t find replicated elsewhere.”

She shares that the entire process — from initial inquiry to being fitted with their dream home, to after sales support was extremely easy. “Like it was meant to be.”

“Our Bürstner’s compact when it comes to drivability — but big on personality, creative use of space and style. With it being just two of us, we much prefer a home that offers a complete, refined package,” explains Raewyn.



Where Raewyn and Peter love taking their Nexxo

The couple have already exhausted a lot of the prime spots in the North Island. “We live in Napier and often drive across the ranges to bunk in at Five Mile Bay in Taupo.”

“The Nexxo drives like a dream over the steep inclines. Small but significant things like the comfortable leather seats and the footrests mean travelling long distances is a breeze too.”

“We adore the freedom of parking up on a secluded beach and doing our thing. We use our bikes a lot and like to go for walks. We’re even looking at getting a stand-up paddle board and some kayaks,” muses Raewyn.

“We just love it! We’re free agents — like gypsies hitting the road without a set agenda as to where we’ll end up for the evening. It’s an attitude and a way of life that speaks to our active nature and keeps us young.”


From the city to the sea


When Paul and Caitriona Hutchinson bought their HYMER MLT 580 motorhome they decided to go on an extended trip up and down New Zealand.

“We sat down with a map and highlighted the places we wanted to see in both the North and South Islands, and then tried to base the trip around that map,” says Paul.


Why Paul and Caitriona chose a HYMER

The couple had a few things on their motorhome wishlist which included it being:

  • A four-wheel drive
  • Warm and comfortable enough to take into the mountains near home
  • Roomy enough to store the toys — barbecue, golf clubs and surfboard.

Caitriona admits, “It really did feel like my home — apart from everything being a bit more concise. Even though we were sometimes offered places to stay along the way, I always preferred to stay in the motorhome.”



Where Paul and Caitriona love taking their HYMER

The couple weren’t afraid to head off-the-beaten-track and onto gravel roads. One favourite spot was Totaranui near the top of the South Island where the Hutchinsons spent 11 nights.

French Pass in Marlborough was a highlight, offering the chance for spectacular views and some great walking.

It was one of those places they nearly didn’t get to, after stopping at Elaine Bay on the way. “We wondered whether we needed to keep going further, but it really was amazing,” says Caitriona.

And for complete isolation, Anatori Beach near Golden Bay is next level.

The Hutchinsons didn’t shy away from towns and cities. Both Dunedin and Westport showed them a good time. And they loved staying in the heart of Auckland at Westhaven.

“It was great being right in the heart of the city, enjoying the hustle and bustle of restaurants and not having to cook. If we went back to Auckland again, we would definitely stay there,” remarks Caitriona.

Aside from Totaranui, their other two favourite campgrounds were Otamure Bay (Whananaki) Campsite and Gentle Annie Seaside Camping Ground and Accommodation.

But for freedom camping with wineries, walkways and the ocean nearby, Clifton Road Reserve was a winner.


💡Paul and Caitriona’s Tip

To experience the heart of Auckland, pay and display overnight parking is available at the Z Pier Carpark.



A new life of elegance

Grant and Wilma McGregor Bürstner Elegance i840G Camping with Friends

Grant and Wilma McGregor embarked on 18 months of research before deciding to purchase a new Bürstner Elegance i840G motorhome. It was everything they wanted in a motorhome — comfort, luxury and space.

During their research, the McGregors spoke to other Bürstner owners at the Covi Supershow. They found that owners of the Elegance couldn’t fault it.

“They all said that Wilderness is a great crowd to deal with, and we absolutely agree — nothing is too much effort.”


Why Grant and Wilma chose a Bürstner Elegance i840G

What sold Grant and Wilma on the Elegance i840G were the:

  • Safety features
  • Flexible design elements — especially the spacious bathroom area which two people can comfortably use at the same time.

“I really like the optional extra bench in the pantry too” mentioned Wilma. “It makes the kitchen much bigger and easier to use.”

The two sliding doors which separate the different areas of the van are also a favourite feature. “The grandkids can be down the back — and with the doors closed it’s surprising how much sound is cut out,” says Grant. “It’s a standout van with so many wonderful features. It’s beautifully thought out and spacious.”


Grant and Wilma McGregor Bürstner Elegance i840G Bike trail-1



Where Grant and Wilma love taking their Bürstner

The couple discovered that the Waihi Waterlily Gardens is a Park Over Property (POP).

“It was wonderful. The cost to stay there was the same price as the cost of admission. Even in winter, the gardens looked beautiful — and there was some wonderful cycling. Access to the Hauraki Rail Trail was just a 20-minute ride from there,” explains Grant.

Running into other Bürstner owners has also been a highlight. “We pulled up and there were four other Bürstner owners gathered around a pot-belly stove. We joined them for cocktails!”

“Other Bürstner owners were really informative, friendly and helpful. We tell people it’s like being part of a big family.”


A trade offer for a better fit

Raye and Graham Miles knew what they wanted. After all, they’d been on the road in various motorhomes for more than fifteen years.


Why Raye and Graham chose a Bürstner Ixeo IT680G

Having tried it all from humble beginnings in a Leyland Sherpa to tiki touring for years in a bus, their need to upgrade took them to Wilderness Motorhomes where they couldn’t go past the Bürstner brand.

Awestruck by the impeccable finishings, the instant sense of comfort and quality provided by Bürstner motorhomes won them over.

The couple were impressed with the product quality but also the sales and after sales support teams — for listening to their aspirations.

“It ended up that the toilet and bathroom configuration of the motorhome we initially purchased wasn’t quite right for us — it was just one of those things we didn’t realise until we were using it in practice.”

“So before we knew it, we got a call from Wilderness offering the Ixeo IT680G as a trade. They wanted to do everything possible to ensure we had the perfect fit. Not only do we now have a layout that suits us better, but we also have an added garage at the back too,” enthuses Raye.

Another highlight is the drivability of the Ixeo IT680G — something they’ve discovered since taking it on the road.

“It really does drive like a car, unlike any other motorhome we’ve had,” says Raye. “It just further adds to the comfort factor — whether it’s popping over to our friends’ house for dinner and a driveway stay, or going off the grid, this level of performance and flexibility is important to us. It makes the experience stress-free as it should be.”

“Other comfort features like the quality of the heating and hot water systems have also ensured our newest addition is all that we’d hoped for,” adds Raye.

“We get a lot of compliments on the craftsmanship and quality. We’ve also had a few people ask us if the driver’s side exit door is a problem, and we honestly tell them it’s not. The size and manoeuvrability of the vehicle mean we’ve never had an issue.”


Where Raye and Graham love taking their Bürstner

Te Aroha is a special location for visiting family as Raye explains, “We thrive on our independence. One of our favourite ways to make the most of our motorhome is to visit our son in Te Aroha. We can get the bikes out and spend time with our grandchildren, but also be completely independent with our own space.”

“We’re very fortunate to have the freedom and lifestyle to follow where the roads take us. We used to envy others who were out there exploring — and now it’s our reality."

“We’re very grateful that we’re doing it as part of the Bürstner family. We’ve already made some great friends, including meeting a fellow Bürstner Owner Club member at North Shore hospital of all places,” reveals Raye.


💡Raye and Graham’s Tip

“While you’ve got your health, do it. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done."



Is it time you took that next step to enquire about a few motorhomes and find your perfect match? To begin your journey towards purchasing your own motorhome, get in touch with the friendly team at Wilderness.





Owners' Stories Motorhome Travel